Hi  -

        I've been busy but following the boundary discussion with interest.
My Aussies (Robb and Bess)  and my ES (Quinn) are all homebodies. I know
from years of experience that the girls just don't leave the property
(although Robb has never accepted the fact that the road in front of our
house is not our property and she will bark at folks on *her* road).  In
the old days they would chase deer out of the yard and stop at the edge.
Because they are so good I've been lax with Quinn (he's 11 months old now,
they are 12 and 11 years) and he's shown no inclination to wander. And a
couple weeks ago i looked up from the kitchen table to see him escorting a
deer to the edge of the woods; and like his aunties, he turned around and
came promptly home.

        My old house had a pet flap and the girls had free run indoors and
out without any problems (except they would bring the remains of stuff the
cats brought home up in to my bed...). At the new place a pet flap is
unfeasible and i've got more neighbors and their less boundary respecting
dogs so my guys are all in when i'm not there, but when i am there the door
is wide open (weather permitting) and i don't keep a real close eye on
them. And they stay right by the house.

        Brandy (now called Randy) is another story though. Granted, it's
not a fair comparison to take my other three who are very strongly bonded
to me and compare them to an 11 year old who has only been with me for a
couple weeks. Randy seems very attached to me and very attentive and alert
(and he's doing much better health wise too - it's very satisfying to see
him gaining energy and looking better) but he wanders off. At first i
thought it was because he was just confused (and maybe it was) but he
definitly knows where he lives now and still he goes visiting. The rest of
us troop on down to collect him and he's happy to see us and walks happily
home with us but a couple days later he'll be off again for a jaunt.
        And judging by the way he sort of cringed the first time i came
down to a neighbors to collect him my guess is he has always wandered and
been punished for it. Me, i just talk encouragingly to him and home we go
where he gets a treat for coming in the house.

        The only other collies i knew as a kid were also wanderers and
certainly Lassie spent a great deal of time in the woods rescuing Timmy for
grizzly bears or whatever.

        In England the working farm dogs (which we'd ID as BC's but they
are very different than the trial based BCs we see so much of over here)
aren't put up. They have free run of the farm and buildings and fields.
Yes, some dogs take to killing stock and they are killed for it, but most
of 'em seem to have no problem with the boundary between properties or
between herding and hunting sheep.


[log in to unmask]
CUR Station #117